(Above) Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Tommy Hayden won Sunday’s Infineon Superbike Race 2. (Below) M4 Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas gets the ironman award after finishing eighth despite crashing twice and dislocating his shoulder Sunday.
The Rockstar Makita Suzuki team returned to the top of the podium this afternoon at Infineon with Tommy Hayden winning Sunday’s red-flagged AMA Superbike Race 2 over Monster Energy Yamaha’s Josh Hayes and Hayden’s teammate Blake Young.
Hayden got the jump on the field at the start of the race with Hayes and Young, Martin Cardenas, Steve Rapp, Ben Bostrom, Larry Pegram, Chris Peris, Roger Lee Hayden and Jeremy Toye all in tow. M4 Suzuki’s Chris Ulrich had a big crash on the first lap with his bike cart wheeling through the dirt. He appeared injured and was transferred to the hospital with unknown injuries. One lap later, Cardenas crashed with his bike resting atop the air fence which made it necessary to red flag the race. Curiously, even though he caused the red flag he was allowed to restart on his back-up bike.
On the restart it was Hayes out front with Hayden and Young right behind him. As opposed to yesterday Hayes’ Yamaha YZF-R1 wasn’t able to pull out much of a gap on Hayden’s GSX-R1000. Hayden shadowed him for a number of laps and was visually more confident on the brakes entering corners.
“The bike was a bit of a handful today,” said Hayes. I’ve had some problem in the past trying to get some heat in the tires. It felt pretty good on the restart then I had a couple of big ones [near crashes]. I didn’t feel like I was totally sharp on the bike today. I felt a little sloppy out there. It was still strong in some areas but I was pretty disappointed when I saw the lap times.”
With the laps dwindling Hayden had to make a move on Hayes if he wanted to win and with five laps to go he pulled the trigger making a clean and very well calculated inside pass. And within a few turns he had already opened up a small gap.
“I got a good start led couple of laps,” said Sunday’s Superbike race winner. “l made some changes for the race. It took me a couple of laps to be 100% confident in what I had. It was tough for a few laps but then my bike started working good. I was getting more and more comfortable. With ten to go I thought if I could get in front of him I could go faster. I had a few looks and I’d botch it up and fall back a few lengths. I knew I was running out of laps so I had to just pull the trigger. This win today feels really good. I was really disappointed with my finish last year.”
Young was well off the two front runners and commented that he just didn’t have the pace to run at the front today. Said Young: “We made a few changes going into today’s race. The bike was different compared to yesterday’s race bike. I got off to a pretty good start. I thought the bike was set-up a bit better. I thought maybe I could hang in there and see where they could go. I knew the pace was going to increase and I just wasn’t ready for it. I just tried to keep my head down and ride my own race. I just couldn’t really run with them.”
Finishing in fourth place was MotorcycleUSA’s sportbike test rider Steve Rapp aboard a Lee’s Cycle-prepped BMW S1000RR. Rapp battled for a good portion of the race with Larry Pegram and eventually got by when HE made a mistake toward the end of the race. Jordan Suzuki’s Ben Bostrom finished sixth—one position ahead of Roger Lee Hayden, while Cardenas gets the ironman award after he crossed the checkers in eight after having two crashes and dislocating his shoulder all in one day.
AMA Superbike Sunday Race 2 Results:
1. Tommy Hayden (Suzuki)
2. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)
3. Blake Young (Suzuki)
4. Steve Rapp (BMW)
5. Larry Pegram (BMW)
6. Ben Bostrom (Suzuki)
7. Roger Lee Hayden (Suzuki)
8. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki)
9. Chris Peris (BMW)
10. Chris Clark (Yamaha)
11. Jeremy Toye (BMW)
12. Geoff May (Buell)
13. James Randolph (BMW)
14. Chris Trounson (BMW)
15. Chris Siebenhaar (Suzuki)